Previously, The Dutch used The Old Portuguese Church over St. Paul’s hill for their religious services. The church is built in Dutch Colonial Architecture Style and is laid out in a simple rectangle of 82 feet (25 m) by 42 feet (13 m). The ceiling rises to 40 feet (12 m) and is spanned by wooden beams, each carved from a single tree. The roof is covered with Dutch tiles and the walls were raised using Dutch bricks built on local laterite blocks then coated with Chinese plaster. The floors of the church are paved with granite blocks originally used as ballast for merchant ships. The building’s footprint is a perfect 2:1 proportion: 27 meters on the long end and 13 meters on the short. The pews are original, and so are the windows, but were reduced in size by the British in the 19th century. The Church Bell is inscribed with the date 1698, suggesting that it was used for another purpose before the completion of the church. The tombstones are written in Portuguese and were originally in St. Paul’s Church inside the Portuguese Fortress. However, they were removed by the Dutch when they occupied Melaka in 1641. Since it is unlikely that the highly religious Dutch would have used Catholic tombstones inside a Protestant Church, historians surmise that they were installed there by the British.
Three Sunday services (English 8.30am, Mandarin 10.30am, BM 4.30pm) and one Merlimau 7pm are held.
- High Court halts Cathedral demolition (stuff.co.nz)